Confederation of African Football (CAF) has dismissed FAM’s fears over the outbreak of the deadly Ebola disease in Mali ahead of that country’s national team visit for Saturday’s 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against the Flames.
A two-year-old girl died of the disease in Mali and it is feared that she may have had contact with as many as 141 people, 57 of whom have yet to be traced, according to health officials.
Football Association of Malawi (FAM) general secretary Suzgo Nyirenda confirmed writing CAF over the development.
“We wrote CAF to seek direction since we are supposed to host Mali this Saturday.
“CAF’s response was that the match would go ahead as planned because Mali is not one of the worst-hit countries and that there are currently no restrictions in place against that country,” said Nyirenda.
However, Nyirenda said the issue has been referred to the Ministry of Health for perusal.
He said the Eagles are expected to arrive in Malawi on Thursday by chartered flight.
Ministry of Health spokesperson Henry Chimbali also confirmed that so far, there are no restrictions in place against Mali.
“But the team will be subjected to screening just like any other person coming into Malawi.
“It is, however, still important to exercise caution by following the infection prevention procedures that we taught our national team before they left for Mali last month,” wrote Chimbali in an e-mail response to a questionnaire.
According to a recent BBC report, Malians quarantined after coming into contact with the deceased girl are nearing the end of their incubation period.
More than 100 people are in quarantine in the capital, Bamako and in the western town of Kayes, where the girl travelled to by bus.
“Authorities say no-one has shown symptoms of the disease so far, but they are remaining vigilant – a number of passengers on the bus have yet to be identified,” reported BBC.
The young girl’s case made Mali the sixth country in West Africa to be hit by the worst Ebola outbreak on record, which has killed at least 4 920 people so far, according to the WHO.